Creating enough content to keep your social media feeds current is tough, right? Whether you’re on your own or a billion dollar multinational, it can seem like you’ve never got enough new stuff and your Twitter starts to look just a little bit repetitive.
Well here’s a little secret: new social media content doesn’t mean writing until midnight, creating graphics on the beach, or frantically constructing social copy on the move. There are great blogs, articles and graphics everywhere you look on the internet – many of them written by people with more expertise than you. The trick is finding the right stuff, and then using it in the right way. Here’s our top tips for doing just that.
Finding the right content
With content coming out of the internet’s ears, it can feel a little daunting when you start out. It really doesn’t have to be though. This is how you can create an effective and efficient digital sieve:
1. Invest the time finding sources, authors and organisations whose content is aligned with your message, tone of voice and fits into your overall content strategy. Your audience will want consistency – they’re following you and engaging with your content for a reason. It’s important to regularly review these sources – are they still right for your organisation or are you missing out on new options? Be picky and chose quality sources, that will offer your current and potential followers something. A tool like BuzzSumo is great place to start. Search for topics your organisation engages in, see who else is creating content around these themes, and check them out.
2. Once you have a list, find out which sources have RSS feeds. Set up a Feedly account, and use these to automatically pull in blogs as they’re published. Review these on a regular basis, depending on the volume you want to share.
3. Those sources that don’t have an RSS feed will be harder to monitor. You have a few options though, don’t worry. You could create a Twitter list for all those sources with an active presence – or better yet see if someone else has created a list that closely matches your own, which might even include other great sources you hadn’t considered. You can also set up a BuzzSumo search, and everyday pop the domains in, and hey presto you’ve got the most shared content from those sources in the last year, the last month or the last 24 hours. (P.S. extra, bonus tip – do this with all your sources anyway, and jump on trending articles and topics – there’s nothing worse than looking behind the curve). Or, you can use a good old fashioned Google Sheet, include the URL and the name of the source, and review regularly.
Sharing in the right way
Great news, you’ve got a bank of great social media content, aligned with your brand and organisation from reputable sources. Job done!
Actually, I’m afraid, the tricky bit is just beginning. Sharing relevant and engaging content is a great start to get people interested in you, and following your social media feeds. But (and this is the hard bit to hear) at the moment you’re not unique. There’ll be any number of other organisations sharing exactly the same content, on the same themes. They might even be bigger than you, with a bigger budget, and able to operate at a much higher volume, trawling far more of the internet for content and posting far more often.
So in this case Goliath gets a resounding victory over David, and you wander back to the social media wilderness with your keyboard between your legs? Well no, not necessarily, hold your mouse up high, and get your sharing strategy right. (By the way, Goliath, this doesn’t mean you can stop reading, the next bit is just as true for you.)
You have to make sure that people are coming to you, rather than your competitors, or even straight to the horse’s mouth. The key to this is social copy.
This is where your share of a piece of content will stand apart, the bit where people will get something original and unique to you – and therefore unique and original to them.
There are a few ways to do this:
• Make the social copy clever or witty – the world can be a depressing place, especially on social media, so give people a smile, arrest the scroll and get them clicking.
• Or, show your expertise to your audience. You’ve read the blog, understood it, and now you can offer them an insight in your copy – giving them a reason to share, like, comment or read more.
• Better yet, expand beyond the content itself. Offer your followers a thought not in the article, share it with a related graphic or tag the author with a question. Other people have probably had the same question and your feed becomes a useful source of additional information.
You might be using tech to find your material, but that doesn’t mean you can sound like a robot. Give your well-curated, well-sourced content an intelligent, human voice and you’ll be building your social media presence before you know it – all taking a fraction of the effort of creating it from scratch.
Like this? Read ‘What the death of clickbait means for engaging content’.
If you’d like to hear how we can help you with curating and creating content that fits with your social media and comms strategy, get in touch today.
Email: email@example.com or call our team on 01494 672 122
Joe Myers is an Account Manager at Formative Content and manages high volume, high quality social media communities for our largest clients.
Formative Content is a UK based content marketing agency producing high quality content, live event coverage and strategic communications support for clients around the world.